By Brian Blewis on June 30, 2014
The Philadelphia Eagles tend to reward their young players with contract extensions before they hit the open market in free agency. On the other hand, they rarely reward their veteran players, as we saw with Donovan McNabb and Brian Dawkins. Heading into 2014, here are five players who might be forced to relocate out of the City of Brotherly Love.
Jeremy Maclin has been a solid No. 2 option at wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, aside from some injuries such as last season. In free agency, the Eagles wanted to sign Maclin to a long-term deal, but he insisted on a one-year "prove yourself" contract instead. Now he better produce and stay healthy. Luckily for Maclin, this is his first season as the No. 1 wideout and he is only 26 years old.
This is Trent Cole's second season of playing in a 3-4 defense at OLB. He was a good run stopper in Billy Davis' defense, but his pass rushing productivity dropped. While he did have 8 sacks, he only took down the QB in four games all season. The Eagles signed Connor Barwin to a lucrative contract last year and drafted OLB Marcus Smith in the first round. Cole's cap number in 2015 is $ 11.625 million, so he needs to step up to remain an Eagle.
The Houston Texans traded DeMeco Ryans to the Eagles prior to the 2012 season because he wasn't a good fit in their 3-4 defense. Having played in both schemes with the Texans and Eagles, it's been apparent that he is much better suited for a 4-3 scheme. Once a Pro Bowl linebacker, Ryans while still a very capable player, has shown signs of age. He is turning 30 in a couple weeks and after this season has very little guaranteed money left.
Evan Mathis is one of the best guards in the league, particularly in run blocking. However, he has expressed concerns with his contract, which have led to some trade rumors. Any Eagles fan knows that the franchise never gives in to players demanding new salaries in the middle of a veteran contract, and Mathis won't be the exception. He will be 33 years old this season, has two years left on his contract and is being compensated fairly.
To be safe, James Casey should put his Philadelphia home up for sale sooner rather than later. Casey was sparingly used last season after signing a three-year deal in free agency. He is still a young player and can have a bounce-back season after just three catches for 31 yards last season. For such little production, the Eagles most certainly will wipe his $ 4 million cap hit off the books in 2015.
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